An 'interesting' development has sent a lot of people crying wolf. Filestube links sent via Yahoo Messenger no longer work. The link never makes to the recipient and neither participants of the conversation are notified. This could easily be seen as Yahoo censoring conversations for the media industry and it would be an order of magnitude worse than Google's censorship of search suggestions.Then again it may be a technical error or an overzealous malware filter and accusing Yahoo of something this grave should probably take a bit more evidence.
But, since Yahoo is not saying anything and the behavior is easy to see for any Yahoo Messenger user, it's hard not to jump to conclusions.
Any Yahoo Messenger chat line that contains a direct link to FilesTube, a popular meta-search engine for file locker services, won't arrive at the destination. Using URL shorteners works though.
The intended recipient sees the familiar "'contact' is writing" notification but, after a while, this goes away and nothing happens. The message never arrives at the destination. Neither the sender or the other contact are notified or aware of the fact that the link was not sent.
This happens in the stand-alone desktop client but also in the built-in chat in Yahoo Mail. The real question is, obviously, why is this happening.
If it's a technical problem, Yahoo should have said something by now. It may very well be an issue with the service or the infrastructure and not bad intentions, but there's no way to know.
One theory is that Yahoo's malware filters, which do block links to infected pages, may be responsible for the block.
But maybe it wouldn't be that surprising if Yahoo did indeed take steps in 'curbing' copyright infringement, by censoring instant messages. If Google could be made to censor its search suggestions, there's little reason to trust web companies to stand up for your rights. [via TorrentFreak]
UPDATE: FilesTube has commented on the situation.
"I was surprised to have adopted information about blocking FilesTube.com by Yahoo Messenger. FilesTube.com is a legal search engine, meets all the legal requirements of both European and American. We are shocked by Yahoo Messenger to censor the Internet, and thus the actions of our users who use FilesTube.com for legal media," Arkadiusz Senko, CEO of Red-Sky which owns FilesTube.com, said.
"We would like to point out that we also have a video section, where the aggregated videos from YouTube or Dailymotion are placed. It seems to us that Yahoo has taken action to block links to competing sites. In such a situation it lefts us nothing but to recommend users to use other instant messengers, respectful of freedom of the Internet. You can find the alternatives for Yahoo Messenger on our new search engine – www.alternative.to," he added.